Comment on the monitoring only and whether they need a license.  Chances are that the monitoring station is calling out the alarm under the alarm company name.  In which case the alarm company who is being paid for the monitoring needs to be licensed.  Most central stations will not allow you to use their license, but you can check.
    This raises potential problems.  You cannot "use" your central station's license.  If you need a license then you need your own license.  State licensing laws cover a myriad of services provided by the alarm industry and requirements vary state to state.  Some states require a license to sell and install, some for that and monitoring, some for just installation and repair.  You need to know the license requirements for each jurisdiction.
    Central stations do not call in alarms to first responders [police, fire] using a Dealer's name.  Typically it's the operator who identifies him or herself.  If the responder has caller id then it knows who is calling, and it's not the Dealer, it's the central station.  
    First responders aren't going to be interested in who has the monitoring contract.  They are going to be interested in who is calling in the alarms and who has the alarms.  They want to know who the end user is so they can figure out where they need to respond.  Some First Responders will verify that the central station calling in the signal has the necessary license, certification or registration with that First Responder to call in the alarms.  
    Licensing serves several purposes, and not necessarily in this order of priority:

  • revenue raising
  • ensures competence (or at least tries to)
  • provides oversight and contact information for those required to be licensed

    Because of technology, it has become possible for most alarm companies to provide nationwide monitoring.  I hear from some who are well capitalized, and from others who are planning their nationwide model on a shoe string.  Nationwide monitoring typically involves two players: (1) the Dealer, who is going out and getting the monitoring contracts, and (2) the central station, who is actually doing the monitoring [yes sometimes they are the same].  Whether the Dealer or the central station or both require a license depends on the wording of the licensing law.  
    The easiest advice I can give is that you should get licensed when in doubt.  It may not be practical to get a license before you start your operation in a particular jurisdiction, especially when you don't know how much business you're going to do in that jurisdiction.  Today I was asked by a dealer licensed in one state if he could install an alarm for a buddy in another state where he didn't have the necessary license.  I advised him that he needed the license but that it wasn't economically feasible to get the license. It wasn't a commercial fire alarm so I wasn't overly concerned.   He'll do the job without the license and most likely won't have a problem.  The fact that he doesn't have the state license will not negate the protection afforded by the Residential All in One, which he will get signed.  If he fails to adhere to custom, practice and any codes in the state where the alarm is being installed then the fact that he is also not licensed will be used against him to establish his incompetence and negligence, but that assumes he makes mistakes in the installation.  
    Nationwide alarm services is something you should be considering because technology has opened the world to commerce.  You can find a network of dealers, vendors and central stations looking to do business with you on The Alarm Exchange. For assistance with nationwide licensing contact our Licensing Department: Jesse Kirschenbaum, Esq. at (516) 747 6700 x 307 or Jesse@KirschenbaumEsq.com; or Nicoletta Lakatos, Esq. at (516) 747 6700 x 311 or NLakatos@KirschenbaumEsq.com.  For nationwide monitoring or DIY contracts contact our Contract Administrator Eileen Wagda at EWagda@KirschenbaumEsq.com or (516) 747 6700 x 312.